Student Sustainability Consciousness: Investigating Effects of Education for Sustainable Development in Sweden and Beyond

Daniel Olssons avhandling handlar om lärande för hållbar utveckling. Vetande, attityder och beteenden inom de tre dimensionerna av hållbar utveckling utgör ett holistiskt angreppssätt som kan definieras som Sustainability Cosnsciousness (medvetenhet om hållbar utveckling).

Fakta
Disputation

2018-12-14

Titel (eng)

Student Sustainability Consciousness: Investigating Effects of Education for Sustainable Development in Sweden and Beyond

Författare

Daniel Olsson

Handledare

Niklas Gericke, Karlstads universitet Jelle Boeve-de Pauw, University of Antwerp John Piccolo, Karlstads universitet

Opponent

Associate professor Jan Činčera, Masaryk university Brno

Institution

Institutionen för miljö- och livsvetenskaper

Lärosäte

Karlstads universitet

Länkar
Läs hela avhandlingen (pdf)
Läs Skolportens intervju med Daniel Olsson

Abstract in English:

Environmental and sustainability education has been an important part of education worldwide for many years, aiming to foster pro-environmental behavior among young people. Education for sustainable development (ESD) and its teaching components holism (the approach to the content) and pluralism (the approach to teaching) has been launched as the educational approach to support this aim by empowering young people with action competence for a sustainable future. Environmental and sustainability certifications are commonly used by schools as support in their ESD-implementation efforts. To date, scholarly attention to, and critical reflection on the effects of such certification on students’ perceptions of sustainability have been limited.

This doctoral thesis focuses on this gap in ESD research through five large-scale studies, four of which were conducted in Sweden and one in Taiwan. Questionnaire instruments measuring students’ sustainability consciousness (SC) and their experiences of ESD were developed for the project.  In total, 2 413 students in Sweden and 1 741 students in Taiwan (grades six, nine and twelve) participated by filling in the SC questionnaire. The Swedish students also filled in questionnaires about their experiences of ESD at their schools in terms of holistic approach to content and pluralistic approach to teaching.

The results question the impact of schools’ environmental and sustainability certification on students’ SC. The results also show the importance of holism and pluralism in ESD for students’ SC, regardless of whether schools were certified or not. Moreover, the findings reveal an adolescent dip in students’ SC as well as a gender gap, both of which were reinforced among students in the certified schools.

Given the findings, this thesis can give more generalizable guidance for schools and certifying organizations to further reorient ESD towards teaching and learning approaches that have an effect on student SC.Education for sustainable development (ESD) has been launched worldwide to empower young people by providing them with action competence for a sustainable future. ESD certifications are commonly used by schools as support in their ESD implementation efforts. To date, scholarly attention to and critical reflection on the effects of such certification on students’ perceptions of sustainability have been limited.

This doctoral thesis focuses on this gap in ESD research through five large-scale studies of which four were conducted in Sweden (N=2413) and one in Taiwan (N=1741). Questionnaire instruments measuring students’ sustainability consciousness (SC) and experiences of ESD were developed for the project. The findings reveal that the effect of ESD certifications on students’ SC is limited. The results also show positive effects of ESD on students’ SC in the form of the teaching approaches based on holism and pluralism, regardless whether schools were ESD certified or not. Moreover, results also reveal that in the certified schools the general adolescent dip and gender gap in students’ SC were reinforced. Given the findings, this thesis can give more generalizable empirical guidance for schools and certifying organizations to further reorient education towards ESD.

Sidan publicerades 2018-12-04 14:41 av Susanne Sawander
Sidan uppdaterades 2019-01-18 13:47 av Susanne Sawander


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